Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bada Bing!

Yesterday I took the director's chair. It was super cool. I'm in the Introduction to TV, Film, and Video Production class this semester, and we just started actually working in the studio. The first of the three units (Film, Video, and TV) that we're doing is Video. We had a three minute interview that we were filming live for tape and we were all going to rotate the positions, director, AD, tech director, floor manager, camera people, etc. etc. We marked up all our scripts for when we're the director, and I even practiced the commands aloud. I was going to be fine, I was sure, as long as I wasn't the first one.

We got our rotation charts first thing in class on Wednesday. I was most definitely the director for the first set.

In a live (or live for tape) TV show, the director calls all the shots as they're happening. We had a monitor in the control room with all three camera shots going and a bigger picture of what was actually going out. So the director gets to sit there and say things like, "Ready [camera] 1. Take 1. (pause) Ready 3. Take 3." and so on, trying to make the three minutes of people ad libbing look interesting. That's not the hard part of the director's job. The hard part is getting into the program and getting out. In a three minute program we had the clock set for three minutes and ten seconds, and when the AD got to "2" in the ten count, the director starts spewing forth all the ready and real commands to fade up picture, sound, graphics, open mics, cue talent, take camera 2, fade music down, lose graphics, etc. etc. etc. That was so stressful because the talent doesn't talk until they're cued and you can just read the commands in one big breath until you get past the intro into the actual segment. Getting out is stressful because you have to get out AT ZERO and sometimes the talent isn't quite done talking. We rehearsed the segment a couple of times before actually filming it for my grade, and we never nailed the ending quite right. And I'm already nervous because I'm the first one, and our instructors have been assuring us over and over again that we're going to make mistakes. Well, really -

I nailed it.

I wasn't perfect, but as soon as I cried "Fade sound and picture out!" because the tension at this point is ridiculous as you have your AD counting down next to you like an atomic bombs about to go off, the audio guy all the way in the other room, the talent on screen rambling about something, and your professor in your ear whispering instructions and warnings - really, quite a lot of stimulus for an already overstimulated girl. But we faded out, and my professor goes "Great job! This girl is one cool cat!" (Or something along those ridiculous lines. I love the phrases older people use. My boss sent me an email the other day and ended it with "You're a GEM!" It made me smile. Yup, that's me. I am one freaking precious rock, baby!). I think everyone else was relieved, too, that the first shoot went pretty well, because it was their first time working their positions too.

Next week I am going to be the host of the show. Oh I am so excited.

We have been having gorgeous weather out here. My favourite type, really, occasional rain notwithstanding. Thursdays are a little stressful for me because it's really go go go from 830 to 5, and then I have a TON of Spanish homework because I neglected it all week. But I have an excuse to enjoy the weather with a picnic instead of doing homework, and I finally got to see the army guys repel down the side of the dental building, which I've heard about extensively but never actually seen. I couldn't stop and watch, because that would just be awkward, but I got in a few backward glances. It was impressive, but really, I think I could have repelled down a little quicker. : P


Laudi said...

That sounds so cool! And so crazy hard... I could never deal with so much stimuli all at once... I mean, teachers deal with a lot at once, we're always doing 6 things at the same time, but we're also trying to cut down on the extra stimuli- I get to tell the atomic bombs to shut it and threaten the whisperers with indoor recess or a call home... you could do that, but it wouldn't help much. Well done, chilled feline!

Josh Elder said...

I remember doing that. It was the most stress, but also the most fun of any of the segments.

It's all downhill from here, kid!